Physical symptoms and psychosocial correlates of somatization in pediatric primary care

Jennifer M. Andresen, Robert L. Woolfolk, Lesley A. Allen, Michael A. Fragoso, Neil L. Youngerman, Timothy J. Patrick-Miller, Michael A. Gara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


A group of children, aged 8 to 13 years, presenting to their pediatricians with multiple medically unexplained physical symptoms (MUPS) were compared with a control group of children from the identical age range who were, according to their pediatricians, free of unexplained physical symptoms. The groups were compared on both self-reported and parented-rated scales assessing physical symptoms and psychosocial functioning. The multiple MUPS group, relative to controls, exhibited significantly higher levels of parent-reported emotional/behavioral symptoms and a trend toward higher patient-reported anxiety than controls. Parents' and child's reports of symptomatology were modestly correlated. Symptom patterns characteristic of pediatric somatization differed as a function of whether child or parent reports were analyzed. Methodological issues in research on pediatric somatization were addressed and some directions for future research emerged.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)904-909
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Pediatrics
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


  • medically unexplained physical symptoms
  • pediatric psychology
  • primary care
  • somatization
  • somatoform disorders


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